Through a notification dated 2 March 2017, the FSSAI has once again extended the date for compliance regarding declaration of class title, trans fat content and saturated fat content on the labels of all foods products. FSSAI had extended the date for compliance to 27 February 2017 through an earlier notification but has had to extend the timeline because of the many representations the Food Authority has received from FBOs.
Through its notification dated 1 December 2016, the FSSAI had issued directions stating that the declaration of class titles, trans fat and saturated fat on food labels as well as compliance of maximum limit of trans fats in food products would both be extended to 27 February 2017. Subsequent to the notification the FSSAI has received numerous requests asking for a deferment of a declaration on foods labels as FBOs would like to first utilize their existing stock of packaging material. Taking into considerations the request of the numerous stakeholders, the FSSAI has therefore extended the date regarding declaration of class title, trans fatty acids and saturated fat content on labels to 30 June 2017.
The FSSAI has categorically stated that the extension of date is only for a declaration on labels. The final date regarding the maximum limit of trans fatty acids in food products as not more than 5% by weight remains the same which is, 28 February 2017. The FSSAI had issued a notification 4 August 2015 for the first time with regard to the reduction of the maximum limit of trans fatty acids to not more than 5% by weight in food products. The time for compliance in this regard had been extended from 27 August 2016 to 27 February 2017 for which directions had been issued on 10 August 2016.
Through this new notification, FSSAI has made no further extension with regard to a reduction of trans fatty acids in food products. Therefore all FBOs will have to ensure that their food products contain the maximum of 5% trans fatty acids. The consumer might not be able to get the information about the level of trans fatty acids in the food products from the labels before 30 June 2017 but the FBOs must take on full responsibility to ensure that they are in compliance so consumers’ health does not get affected. They must manufacture food products in a way that their food products all have reduced levels of trans fatty acids by 28 February 2017.